No We Can’t, Black Folks
Five things black people shouldn’t do if Obama wins.
Updated: 3:26 PM ET Nov 3, 2008
Nov. 4, 2008–There’s been an e-mail going around advising black folks on unacceptable behavior if
1. No Negro spirituals or quotes from Dr. King.can get away with this. The rest of us cannot.
2. Don’t go up to every “redneck-y” looking person and gloat. “It hurts don’t it? It burrrrnnss!” Dave Chappelle warned us about parading our pride too much.
3. Don’t corner your white coworkers to give them a tutorial on black culture just because “the president is black and it’s ’bout time y’all learn!”
4. Don’t go to your local DMV, post office or other government office and try to jump the line, talkin’ ’bout, “Barack’s got my back.”
5. Do not promise to name your first child after Barack Obama. We’ve come far, butdoes not have as much of a ring to it as you think.
No We Can’t, White Folks
Five things white people shouldn’t do if Obama wins.
Updated: 2:27 PM ET Nov 3, 2008
Nov. 4, 2008–Black people aren’t the only ones worried about embarrassing themselves if Obama wins. Here are a few pointers for white people.
1. Don’t personally congratulate all your black friends.
Black people are not a sports team, and Obama did not win the Super Bowl.
2. Don’t declare that you “never thought you’d see the day.”
You never thought you’d see the day?
3. Don’t start crossing the street in order to walk next to a black person.
President Obama is glad you support racial reconciliation, but he takes a hard line against jaywalking.
4. Don’t name drop “Dr. King.”
If you absolutely must make some comment about how this is a victory for civil rights, pick a marginally less obvious figurehead.
5. Don’t use the phrase “white people” in any way that suggests it doesn’t include you.
Contrary to popular belief, having voted for Obama does not make you even “semi-down.” Sorry if there was any confusion there.
Christopher Beam is a Slate political reporter.
Chris Wilson is Slate’s editorial assistant in Washington, D.C.
Compiled by Jahed Ahmed